12/6/2016 LESSON 2
GOD’S POWER TO SAVE SINNERS
Quarter’s Theme: BASIC CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES
Unit 1 – God’s Plan For Our Salvation (Lessons 1-4)
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 14, 153
Devotional Reading: 1 COR. 1:17-25
Topic For Adults
NO OTHER MEANS
Topic For Youths
“GOSSIP” THE GOSPEL
Topic For Intermediates
THOUGH SIMPLE BUT POWERFUL
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jews first and also for the Greek (Rom. 1:16) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
God’s desire is for all sinners to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). This is the reason why He made provision for all to be saved through the gospel. However, He leaves all men with the power to choose their destiny. He doesn’t force His way on people. The gospel is for all, but it is only whosoever believes and receives it that will be saved. It includes all categories of people irrespective of age, gender, class, social status and position. If you are not already in the list of “whosoever”, you may enter the list today by surrendering your life to Jesus.
Point of Emphasis: Whosoever believes in Him shall not perish (Jn. 3:16)
Prayer Point: Lord, save me and all my household
Right from the time of the fall of man in Eden, God has been planning how to reconcile fallen man to Himself through salvation. Eventually, He got a means through His Son, Jesus Christ. However, that salvation is not automatic, there is a process to follow to get it. This week’s lesson focuses on that means through which God intends to save sinners.
NOTE ON THE TEXTS
PART 1: THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST (ROM. 1:16-17)
Gospel means “the good news” or “the good tidings”. It is called good news because it contains the glad announce-ment that sins are pardoned and souls are saved when people receive it and believe it. When that Gospel is about Christ, it means that it is the good news brought by the Messiah and relates to His character, advent, preaching, death, resurrection and ascension. No wonder at Jesus’ birth the message of the angels that announced His birth to the wise men or shepherds was “I bring to you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the City of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord… Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men” (Lk. 2:8-11). In a world full of bad news, the good news that Christians should be spreading is the gospel of Christ which is able to give peace and good will to people.
Paul also emphasised that this gospel of Christ, though simple, contains in it the power of God to effect salvation in the life of whoever believes and receives it. The expression “it is the power of God unto salvation”, means that it is the way in which God exerts His power in the salvation of men. It is the efficacious or mighty plan by which power goes forth to save sinners, and by which all the obstacles of men’s redemption are taken away. It also means that the gospel is God’s plan and means to bring salvation to sinners. The salvation we are talking about is the complete deliverance from sin, death and all the foes and dangers that beset man. Thus, the only way to receive salvation is to believe in the gospel of Christ. Have you experienced the power of the gospel of Christ that saves, transforms and empowers? That Gospel power is available for your salvation today.
PART 2: DO NOT BE ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST (ROM. 1:16-17)
Paul, after his encounter with Jesus, had been cast off and regarded as an apostate by the Jews, and has been persecuted, despised and driven from place to place by the wise among the Gentiles. He was regarded as the filth of the world and the off scouring of all things (1 Cor. 4:13). Yet, in all these things, he declared that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. He has so firm a conviction of its value and its truth; he had experienced so much of its consolation and efficacy, that he was so far from being ashamed of it but rather gloried in it as the power of God unto salvation.
Men should be ashamed of crime and folly. People are ashamed of their own offences, and the follies of their conduct, when they come to reflect on it. But they are not ashamed of that which they know to be right and good, and of that which they know will contribute to their welfare, and to the benefits of their fellow-men. Such were the views of Paul about the gospel. Christians who are genuinely born-again, who have themselves believed and received the gospel of Christ, who can testify to the saving and transforming power of the gospel in their lives, homes, job, health, etc, must therefore not be ashamed of that gospel that has done so much for them. They must rather declare and spread that gospel to all and sundry within their jurisdiction and sphere of influence.
If you want people to be righteous and godly, to be peaceful and holy, you must preach the gospel to them because, it is in that same gospel of Christ that God’s righteousness is revealed to people as they are moving from one level of faith in Christ to another higher and greater level of faith (v. 17).
PART 3: THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST IS FOR ALL (ROM. 1:16-17)
Paul, in his discussion about the power of the gospel and his attitude to the proclamation of the gospel, gave the categories of people that the gospel is meant for. In verse 16, he says “for everyone who believes”. Though initially, the Jews were the first set of people that God reached to with the gospel. This is expected because the conveyor of the Gospel, Jesus Christ, is from that nation. But He came to His own and His own did not receive Him (Jn. 1:11). Then He turned to the Gentiles, who are referred to as the Greek in the passage. Therefore, as many that believe Him and receive the gospel irrespective of clan, tribe, social status, economic status, educational status, colour, gender, age, position, and even religious inclination or affiliation, etc, are given the power to become children of God (Jn. 1:12)
Yes, the gospel is for all, but it is not indiscriminately to all men. The gospel is only to those who confide or trust in it, and salvation in it is conferred on all who receive it. The gospel is not confined in its intention or efficacy to any class or nation of man. It is adapted to all, and is designed to be extended to all. Therefore, do not be selective in your preaching of the gospel, rather preach to all.
Have you really experienced the power of the gospel? It is not enough to hear it or preach it, or see other people enjoy it, you also must have a first-hand experience of the power of the gospel by first receiving salvation from your sin and stop being an enemy of God. Those who have experien-ced the power of the gospel must not be ashamed to tell others about it.
- What is the meaning of the gospel?
- Describe the power of God inherent in the gospel.
- What is Paul’s attitude to the gospel of Christ?
- What categories of people is the gospel meant for?
- How did the gospel of Christ get to the Gentiles?